Brian Q. Newcomb of St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviewed the Ozzfest 2003 tour when it came through town Thursday (July 17).
"[Ozzy] Osbourne's importance in the genre is unquestioned, but with the doddering, 55-year-old Ozzy a likely candidate for a 'this is your brain on drugs' public-service announcement, it may be time for the artist to retire from performance," he writes.
"Osbourne traditionally closes out the night, and this year his band played a 90-minute set, including encores, instead of the advertised two hours. Backed by one of the best bands money can buy, Osbourne benefited from the fiery guitar attack of Zakk Wylde and the rock-steady chops of former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted.
"Barely able to speak understandably, Osbourne struggled to replicate the familiar melodies of his greatest hits: 'Crazy Train', 'Mama, I'm Coming Home' and 'Paranoid', the BLACK SABBATH song that finished the night.
"The set started with SABBATH's 'War Pigs' and also included 'Iron Man'. Although the Wizard of Ozz was feistier than past years and has added a few moves to his standard repertoire of hosing down the crowd — he mooned the crowd twice — his inability to articulately present his own material is a staggering disappointment year after year. 'Mr. Crowley', 'Believer', 'Goodbye to Romance', 'Suicide Solution' and 'Road to Nowhere' were marred by pathetic, uneven vocals." Read more.